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Vuforia underwater tracking

October 9, 2020 - 2:22am #1

I'm looking into a usecase where I'd want to utilize Vuforia on a waterproof Android device, while in a swimming pool. Tracking should be markerless (but if that's not possible, I'll use markers). Obviously, this would bring a large amount of challenges to overcome, and I'm looking for some input. 

One of my largest concerns is the lack of trackable objects underwater, as well as the fact that water might distort the tracking.

I would prefer using a generic Vuforia setup with an image database (since no internet underwater) and Ground Plane tracking for area tracking. If that's not feasible, I'd like to look into Area Targets & Matterport more. If that's not feasible either, I'll try putting 2D markers on the bottom and sides of the pool.

A few questions:

  • Am I actually trying something here that's actually so impossible I shouldn't even waste my time on it?
  • Would Vuforia be able to track the pool's bottom by using Ground Plane? Is the tracking accurate enough nowadays to not need sharply defined objects to track?
  • Am I able to generate an accurate area scan using Matterport technology as described for Area Targets, or does that require more trackable markers than just the underwater decoration of a regular swimming pool?
  • What is the max distance Vuforia can track objects and planes (either with markers or markerless) in a situation like this? Or in general? I find information ranging to 1m to 15m for tracking, so it's hard to get a definite answer.
  • Any other thoughts, inputs, ideas or suggestions that I haven't thought of?


Thanks a bunch!

Vuforia underwater tracking

October 14, 2020 - 7:41am #2


Interesting topic, I can confirm that we did not test Vuforia underwater. We have 2 concerns

1. How the device Tracker will behave under water with this we mean especially ARKit and ARCore

2. Camera calibration: distortions on air water interface of the housing

In regards to your questions:

Q1. You are not the only one, other have being doing this before. for ex: https://www.fit.fraunhofer.de/content/dam/fit/de/documents/augmented_reality_under_rater_blum2009.pdf which is quite old and the good thing is that tehnology has improved a lot since 2009.

Q2. Please see disclaimer 2 and 1 here. It might work but I would say it also depends on the lighting in the pool

Q3. You should be able to, the worst case scenario is a repetitive low-feature structure

Q4. There are no restrictions to max distance, it's the apparent size of objects and the environment that matters, what fits in the camera view :). As an example, some customer have been tracking footbal-stadiums.

Q5. Make sure that everything is waterproof; In order to check the viability of the device tracker, try a sample ARKit application and see how it behaves.

Hope this helps.

Vuforia Engine Support

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